I have always wanted to try pickling. We go through a fair number of pickles in the year and I thought it would be fun to give it a try.
When mom and I preserved things together we were great. (Well, she was great and I helped.) She’s been working a lot these last few years and preserving has kind of fallen by the wayside. I am not working anymore so I wasn’t entirely sure why that was but. . . my pantry is nearly empty.
So I was quite excited last Saturday when Joyce and I spotted the 10 pound bags of pickling cucumbers. I was pretty sure pickles were fairly basic and felt confident that I could handle it on my own. Henry was out of town fishing for the weekend and that left me without transportation so the pickling would have to wait until Tuesday.
It’s been hot here though. I couldn’t put the cucumbers in the fridge because it was beyond full (please tell me you know what I mean. . . every time you open the fridge door something falls out. Beyond full. That happens to you too. . . right???) so I put them in a big bowl in the basement and surrounded them with ice-packs.
Everyday I discovered more moldy cukes but I figured I had started out with 20 pounds so there would easily be enough for a few batches of pickles.
Tuesday came and I ran out early to pick up ice for the cooler. I thought it would keep the cucumbers cool while I processed them. I started picking through the bowl.
Big problem. . .
The poor little cukes were either wrinkling or sprouting mold. By the time I got to the middle of the bowl they were way past sprouting and into full blown sheets of mold.
My asthma is triggered by mold.
My compost pile has a bit more to digest today. . .
In chatting with Ev I expressed surprise at how quickly they spoiled. She chuckled, shook her head knowingly and said “I’m not surprised. . . all fresh produce has to be processed as quick as possible, there’s no time to waste!”
That’s when it hit me.
The reason I’m such a terrible preserver on my own is because I always think I have time to do something else first. Something more important. Baking a cake, working in the garden, a quick trip to Fort Edmonton, a little work on the computer. . . You know. . . urgent things.
So. . .
What have I learned from the Great Pickle Debacle of 2012?
I’m not 100% sure.
Of course I learned that there’s no waiting until tomorrow in preserving but truthfully I already knew that, I just seem to have great difficulty believing it.
Perhaps what I’ve really learned is that just because I think something is awesome and important it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll automatically be good at it. Or even that I’ll ever be particularly good at it.
And that’s okay. . . because no one is good at everything. Sigh. . .
But wouldn’t it be amazing if we could be?